Uncommon troubles in young people: prevalence estimates of selected psychiatric disorders in a nonreferred adolescent population

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990 May;47(5):487-96. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810170087013.


A two-stage epidemiologic strategy was used to estimate the lifetime prevalence of selected DSM-III-defined psychiatric disorders in a county-wide secondary school population (N = 5596). Screening tests used in the first stage included items based on DSM-III criteria for eating disorders and panic disorder, as well as the Leyton Obsessional Inventory-Child Version and the Beck Depression Inventory. Based on interviews (n = 356) by clinicians in the second stage, the lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa was 0.2%; bulimia, 2.5%; panic disorder, 0.6%; obsessive-compulsive disorder, 1.9%; major depression, 4.0%; dysthymic disorder, 4.9%; and generalized anxiety disorder, 3.7%. While rates of mental health service utilization varied greatly by diagnosis, only 41% of students who were assigned both a diagnosis and a rating of impairment had received any kind of clinical attention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Community Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • New Jersey
  • Panic
  • Personality Inventory
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales